I arrived out in Lanzarote just over a week before the race which gave me some time to train with Bella and Stephen Bayliss. Bella has been helping with my coaching so it was great to get out to Lanzarote to train with her and Stephen. They have been staying at Sands Beach Resort in Costa Teguise (www.sandsbeach.eu) so that's where I headed to. When I arrived I couldn't believe the resort I had just walked in to. It was the perfect place for a triathlete/cyclist to stay. My lovely apartment was right on poolside and the buffet has kept us all well fuelled. I can't wait to go back and would reccommend it to anyone planning a training holiday or camp!
Coming in to this race was a different experience for me. For once I actually felt like a professional athlete. I was training, eating, sleeping and resting well. No working or running around doing everyday tasks that usually take up most of my time in race week. I was also doing slightly different pre race training than normal and had someone to train with (Bella or Stephen) on pretty much every session which was great and I couldn't wait to race.
The race for me was a solid enough performance and I was happy to finish in 6th in a strong field and in the money. I swam well for the first 1000 metres but fell off the pace a little in the second half. The bike was like no other, a very tough course made tougher by the totally outrageous wind. I have to say that fighting against 25mhp wind was a lot of fun but really words can't describe what it was like racing in that wind!
On the run I was really surprised that my legs felt quite light when I got off the bike. I started my run at a fairly steady pace and kept it steady till around 10k when I started to pick it up a little and I seemed to be feeling pretty good. I was pleased that I managed to do a solid run and was able to feel strong all the way to the finish line.
My training/race trip to Lanzarote has been a really great experience and one which I have learned a lot from. I've met and got to know some amazing people, caught up with some friends, trained hard, raced and altogether had a great time. I also seem to have made some progress with my swimming in the week following the race when I was hitting times in the pool that I could only have dreamt of 4 weeks ago. It's good motivation to keep working hard over the winter months.